The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted 988 as a new three-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, starting July 16, 2022. Customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK to reach the Lifeline until July 16, 2022.
In order for 988 to work in your (218) area code, 10-digit local dialing must first be implemented.
What will be the new dialing procedure?
To complete all local calls, you will now need to dial area code + telephone number. This applies to all calls within the 218 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits.
Who will be affected?
Anyone with a telephone number from your area code will need to make this change from 7-digit local dialing to 10-digit local dialing.
When will the change begin?
Beginning April 24, 2021, you should begin dialing 10 digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. If you forget and dial just 7 digits, your call will still be completed.
Beginning October 24, 2021, you must dial 10-digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only 7-digits may not be completed, and a recording will inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. You must hang up and dial again using the area code and the 7-digit number.
Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will route your call to National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.
What will you need to do?
In addition to changing the way you dial local calls, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to complete calls to 7-digit local numbers will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 10-digit numbers. Some examples are life safety systems or medical monitoring devices, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, fire or burglar alarm and security systems or gates, speed dialers, mobile or other wireless phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services and other similar functions. Be sure to check your website, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, your personal or pet ID tags, and other such items to ensure the area code is included.
Expanded Local Calling for GVT customers will also change. When making calls in the free expanded local calling areas, you will now need to dial the 10-digit telephone number instead of the 7-digit telephone number like before. Exchange-to-Exchange calling will remain a free service for GVT customers; the only thing that will change is the dialing experience.
What will remain the same?
- Your telephone number, including current area code, will not
- The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the dialing change.
- What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits
- You will continue to dial 1+ area code + telephone number for all long distance
- You can still dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services).
- Any 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, or 811 services available in your community can still be reached by dialing their three-digit
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Who may you contact with questions?
If you have any questions regarding information provided in this notice, please call Garden Valley Technologies at 800-448-8260 for more information. You can also visit the FCC website at https://www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.